Belgium have just named their 28-man provisional squad for the upcoming World Cup. While most of the big names were on the list, AS Roma superstar, Radja Nainggolan, surprisingly, did not make the cut.
He's been in superb form for the Italian outfit this season absolutely bossing the midfield and would be disappointed to miss out on the squad.
Martínez selected 28 players (23+5), but no one knows who’s among the 23. Says he couldn’t promise Nainggolan an important role... pic.twitter.com/XoUEFjKA1Q— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) May 21, 2018
Radja Nainggolan has created more chances (196) and won more tackles (214) for Roma than any other player in Serie A and the Champions League since 2015/16.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 21, 2018
Get a midfielder who can do both... oh wait. 臘 pic.twitter.com/TBj6htvZJ2
Radja Nainggolan for Roma in the Champions League and Serie A this season:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 21, 2018
Joint-most assists (11)
2nd most chances created (79)
3rd most take-ons (63)
4th most tackles won (67)
However, he was also
No Radja Nainggolan in the Belgium World Cup squad, a fans’ favourite. Roberto Martínez not making himself popular in Belgium. pic.twitter.com/3apslCOto5— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) May 21, 2018
Roberto Martínez considers Radja Nainggolan as a number 10, rather than a holding midfielder or a box-to-box. Belgium play in a 3-4-3 without a 10 and De Bruyne as a modern playmaker. Plus: manager not a fan of him smoking a fag from time to time.— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) May 21, 2018
Radja Nainggolan only played 6 mins in Belgium’s record breaking World Cup qualification campaign. Started in 3 friendlies. Total Belgium minutes under Martínez: 217.— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) May 21, 2018
The 30-year-old is a very popular figure among the football fanatics, and as expected, there was some serious outrage on Twitter
Spare a thought for Belgium fans as Roberto Martinez has included the likes of Nacer Chadli, Dendoncker, Fellaini, Tielemens but found no room for Radja Nainggolan.— FTS Football (@FromTStands) May 21, 2018
Imagine being Radja Nainggolan this morning. The best midfielder in a side that's just almost reached the Champions League final, and to wake up and see that you're not in the World Cup squad and Nacer Chadli is. Top managers manage club sides. International football is for crabs— Ian Mc (@redmysterio96) May 21, 2018
When you hear you're going to the World Cup ahead of Radja Nainggolan. pic.twitter.com/em15UFQ67E— bet365 (@bet365) May 21, 2018
There's no way Radja Nainggolan was left out of the Belgium squad for tactical reasons. The coach doesn't like his personality or what he brings off the pitch and clearly he doesn't play FIFA. Radja is a beast!— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) May 21, 2018
Guys taking two lads who are playing in China, one from the MLS but not a lad who’s absolutely smashed it in Italy and the Champions League.— Stephen Howson (@MrStephenHowson) May 21, 2018
Nainggolan is absolutely mint
Imagine not taking him.
How do you not take Radja #Nainggolan.to worldcup ? He is one player who can start at any team at the tournament !!— Nyakaana Allan (@Allan_Nyakaa) May 21, 2018
Just an hour after the World Cup snub, Radja decided to announce his retirement from international football
Radja Nainggolan retires from international football - an hour after being snubbed for World Cup— Itodo Oche George ™ (@Scarfy04) May 21, 2018
“Being yourself can be bothering”— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 21, 2018
Radja Nainggolan announces his international retirement after being left out of Belgium’s World Cup squad pic.twitter.com/SIX3MFUSQo
OFFICIAL: Radja Nainggolan has confimed his retirement from International football after not being selected for Belgium's 2018 World Cup provisional squad. pic.twitter.com/3TsdwVjdQL— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) May 21, 2018
The pressure on Martinez is going to enormous in the upcoming World Cup, as an underwhelming campaign could be catastrophic for the manager.